South Africans Eddie Jones

Rugby World Cup coaches Jacques Nienaber and Eddie Jones. Photo: @PlanetRugby via Twitter.

Eddie Jones: South Africans don’t inspire me

The controversial Wallabies boss has fired a typically backhanded compliment at the Springboks ahead of the start of the Rugby World Cup.

South Africans Eddie Jones

Rugby World Cup coaches Jacques Nienaber and Eddie Jones. Photo: @PlanetRugby via Twitter.

Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones says while he admires the Springboks, he does not draw inspiration from the innovative the South Africans have brought into the game of rugby.

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SOUTH AFRICANS REINVENTING THE GAME WITHIN THE LAWS 

A lot has been said about the Springboks’ surprise move to field a 7-1 bench split in favour of the forwards against the All Blacks two weeks ago and Wallabies boss Jones has now weighed in with his take on the many.

While he was quick to applaud the Springboks for their ‘bold, courages and innovative’ use of the bench, Jones confirms that his Australia is unlikely to copy the 7-1 bench split move because the “South Africans don’t inspire” him.

“Tradition maybe says 5-3, but that doesn’t mean it’s right,” said Jones. “If you are going to play a heavy dominant forward game, why wouldn’t you have more forward players on the bench?

“Rugby is changing, the way it is refereed and officiated off the field is changing, it’s just a sign of the times.”

“Who says you have to have eight forwards and seven backs (in your starting team)? You don’t have to. There are different ways to play the game.

“I applaud South Africa for being so bold and courageous in the way they want to play. That is great innovation.”

When asked if he was inspired by South Africa’s “innovation”, Jones said: “Well, it doesn’t inspire me. South Africans don’t inspire me as much as I admire them.”

“I don’t believe you can copy other teams’ structure, you have to come up with your own way of playing. That has always been the goal. Initially we didn’t get it right and now we are finding the right way.”

ALSO READ | Three forwards who could be World Cup game-changers for Springboks

CHECK OUT THE SPRINGBOKS’ FIXTURES BELOW:


Sunday, 10 September – South Africans v Scotland (Stade Velodrome, Marseille). Kick-off time: 17:45
Sunday, 17 September – Springboks v Romania (Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux). Kick-off time: 15:00
Saturday, 23 September – South Africans v Ireland (Stade de France, Paris). Kick-off time: 21:00
Sunday, 1 October – Boks v Tonga (Stade Velodrome, Marseille). Kick-off time: 21:00

Weekend of 14/15 October – Quarter-finals
Weekend of 21/22 October – Semi-finals
Saturday, 28 October – Final

ALSO READ | Three forwards who could be World Cup game-changers for Springboks

You can also check out all the World Cup fixtures and kick-off times here, with South Africa and France notably in the same time zone.

Springboks South Africans
Springboks squad during on of their preparations games. Photo: EPA/NEIL HALL